Wednesday, 06 July 2011 11:26

And then all of a sudden...

Written by  Kamal Shah
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Maqdoom Ali was about 40 something. I probably haven't seen a more cheerful patient. His attitude was amazing. He worked full time. Dialyzed thrice a week. He drove around town in a scooter. Yes, nothing surprising about that except that only someone on dialysis can tell you why that is nothing short of an achievement. After the four hour roller-coaster, going back home on a scooter is certainly not for the faint hearted.

Maqdoom Ali's zest for life was evident whenever I talked to him. He told me he realized that dialysis is what makes him live. Many patients try to cut down on the number of sessions thinking that they can manage without the extra dialysis. Not Maqdoom Ali. He knew that he needed as much dialysis as he could get. He often told me he knew his body pretty well and had learnt how much fluid it can tolerate and what the warning signs were. He had figured out what foods his body could withstand and admitted that whenever he crossed the line, he suffered. He would counsel other patients about not skipping sessions.

Maqdoom Ali wasn't from a very affluent family and being diagnosed with this disease without having enough money to pay for it can be very difficult.

He got his dialysis session on Monday and was scheduled to come for a session today. And then all of a sudden, this morning, he collapsed in the bathroom. His family immediately called 108, the emergency service. The paramedics came and declared him dead.

Maqdoom Ali's passing is shocking. How could this have happened? He was totally all right! I really haven't seen a patient who was doing as well as him. But then there were probably changes at the underlying levels which were not very evident. Changes which even Maqdoom Ali did not realize were taking place. Who knows? Who ever will?

With my involvement in NephroPlus, I realize that my attitude towards death of dialysis patients is also changing. While I burst into tears on reading Pavan Joshi's obituary in the newspaper many months back, I reacted quite stoically to the news about Maqdoom Ali. Not a graduation I would have liked.


Kamal Shah

Kamal Shah

Hello, I'm Kamal from Hyderabad, India. I have been on dialysis for the last 13 years, six of them on PD, the rest on hemo. I have been on daily nocturnal home hemodialysis for the last four and half years. I can do pretty much everything myself. I love to travel and do short weekend trips or longer trips to places which have dialysis centers. Goa in India is a personal favorite. It is a great holiday destination and has two very good dialysis centers.

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